FAQ #5: Can Cosmetic Dentistry Fix Crooked Teeth?
Not really, although it would depend on what is meant by the word ‘fix’. Cosmetic Dentistry cannot move crooked or crowded teeth back into proper alignment, ‘proper’ meaning that the entire tooth, from crown to root, is aligned correctly relative to neighbouring teeth and the shape of the jaw in all three dimensions. This type of movement can only be achieved using braces or other teeth-moving devices such as orthodontic plates.
Cosmetic Dental procedures are sometimes used to mask crowding or crookedness, although this is usually only done as a compromise when the individual is unable or unwilling to have an orthodontic procedure. Crooked or crowded teeth have to be heavily trimmed before a straight-looking crown or veneer can be placed onto them. This heavy trimming removes a lot of the tooth’s natural layers of protection (enamel and dentine) and puts the nerve of the tooth at risk of being permanently damaged. It’s important to realise that, while the crown of the tooth will appear to be straight once the crown or veneer is attached, the rest of the tooth will remain out of alignment.
If a person who has crooked or crowded teeth requests dental treatment to make teeth appear straighter and whiter, this often first requires treatment by an orthodontist (to line teeth up in an ideal position). Once the teeth are straight, treatment to alter the colour and shape of the teeth (whether this be teeth whitening, dental veneers or crowns) will be provided.